Richard Sosis

James Barnett Professor of Humanistic Anthropology



Ph.D., 1997, University of New Mexico


Richard Sosis is James Barnett Professor of Humanistic Anthropology at the University of Connecticut. His work has focused on the evolution of religion and cooperation, with particular interests in ritual, magic, religious reproductive decision-making, the dynamics of religious systems, and related topics such as meaning systems and the anthropology of sport. To explore these issues, he has conducted fieldwork with remote cooperative fishers in the Federated States of Micronesia and with various communities throughout Israel and the United States. He is cofounder and coeditor of the journal Religion, Brain & Behavior, which publishes research on the bio-cultural study of religion. His published books include The Ping Pong Player and the Professor, Religion Evolving: Cultural, Cognitive, and Ecological Dynamics, and Evolutionary Perspectives on Religion and Violence.

Research Interests

human behavioral ecology, collective action problems, evolution of cooperation, signaling theory, foraging theory, life history theory, complex adaptive systems, evolution of religion, ritual, magic, anthropology of sport, utopian societies, Micronesia, Israel, Middle East


  • Faculty affiliate, UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life
  • Affiliate fellow, UConn Humanities Institute
  • UConn Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy
  • UConn Collaboratory on School and Child Health
  • Center for Mind and Culture, Boston University
  • Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton University
Richard Sosis
Contact Information
Office LocationBeach Hall (BCH) 445
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